You may have seen our list of some of the most inexpensive (and interesting) cameras for 2020. While every one of those cameras has excellent low-light performance, you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money to get good results while shooting at night.
Knowing how to effectively record video in low-lit conditions may be important whether you’re shooting in a studio or on location for your next project. Here are several tips to help you make the most out of shooting for best video camera for low light
Basic Camera Settings for Shooting in Low Light
There are certain common low light settings you’ll want to keep in mind for pretty much any camera you shoot with, even if each camera model has a varied sensor capability when it comes to low light capture.
Keep these suggestions in mind as you get ready for your shoot since the video below offers a great starting point for figuring out what settings your camera should have when you’re out in the field.
Choosing a fast lens is one of the greatest methods to enhance your camera’s low light capabilities. Even if the majority of prime lenses aren’t exactly inexpensive, there are a number of mid-range choices (such as Rokinon or Sigma Lenses) that can attain an f/1.8 or even lower for a relatively affordable price.
Before you ditch your current camera in favor of a newer one with better low light sensitivity, consider the alternate route of picking a decently fast lens. This can make a world of difference in the low light performance of your camera, and also provide you with a much more cinematic look over using a kit lens.
Obviously, shooting any type of high frame rate is going to drastically limit your sensor’s ability to take in light. Even if you’re not shooting at 60 or 120 frames per second, the mere six frames between 24 and 30 frames per second can also make a big difference when you’re trying to get the most out of your camera’s sensor in a low light.
The recommended global settings for low light suggested in the video above were:
- 24 FPS
- 1/48 Shutter Speed
- Highest ISO Possible (Without Noise)
- Flat Picture Profile
Know Your Camera’s ISO Limitations
When it comes to getting the greatest performance out of your camera, low-light cinematography isn’t quite a one-size-fits-all technique. You must be aware of the capabilities of your particular camera, such as how well it handles a high ISO.
Although many cameras have the ability to increase their ISO, this does not guarantee that the image will be clear. A high ISO frequently introduces noise, picture fading, or undesirable artefacts.
In order to get the cleanest image possible, it’s usually a good idea to shoot with a lower ISO all the time. However, in low light conditions, being able to use a higher ISO without ruining your image may be a huge advantage. Understanding the ISO threshold of your particular camera is essential to preventing noise and picture deterioration.
Take the time to conduct some actual field tests, then analyse the video on your editor to determine what your camera’s maximum allowable ISO range is. Your camera’s monitor is not the greatest source for you to determine how well your camera’s sensor operates in low light.
Carrying along a lot of lighting equipment if you’re a run-and-gun filmmaker is not only impractical, but can even be impossible depending on your project.
If you know how to utilise it, even one light may help you get fantastic video if you find yourself in a difficult scenario during a location shot with a restricted lighting choices.
In the video below, Brady Bessette goes into great depth on how to create a variety of strikingly varied cinematic images with just one light source. Make sure to look it over!
Speaking of daylight, creating day-for-night sequences allows for a lot of creative freedom in post-production and gives you access to the greatest light source. For the most uniform lighting throughout your setting while photographing talent, bear in mind that you’ll ideally want to shoot on a cloudy day or in a shaded place.
To avoid the brightest portion of the day, which might produce a lot of harsh highlights on your subject, you’ll also want to photograph in the morning or evening.
Prior to the day-for-night shot, if you can, visit your area at night. This will give you an excellent notion of what will appear realistic when you go to film and grade your day-for-night sequence.